Life 4.0

All about my strange new life, and the art of making it up as I go

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Year Four

The days leading up to this weekend have been a blur of thoughts, plans and memories. Among the celebrations, disappointments, and gut checks of the past three years, there is one fact which stands out among all the rest: Somehow, beyond my comprehension, I am still standing this long after Roxanne's death. The thought grips me, although the specific significance escapes me. My own personal thousand days... some diamonds, some coal, all triumphant, all lonely.

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I don't know how I should feel. Proud, scared, awestruck? I'd like to think I am defiant, but defiance isn't something I can measure. When you're running on fear, it's easy to look brave. Honesty time: I always had faith that I could reach this point. But truth be told, I doubted I would reach it.

On the worst days, I have trembled on the edge of sanity. I'm still not sure that I didn't cross into the danger zone a few times. On the best days, there's still the loneliness to keep my excitement in check. The loss is immeasurable. Forgive me for repeating an oft-mentioned point:

I love Roxanne as much now as ever.

The feeling inside me has not faded with time. It's only natural to wonder if that's healthy, and if it is choking my progress.

I have so few pictures of Roxanne. She hated being photographed. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. Roxanne always looked at life a little askew, with a healthy dose of irony. She took delight in facing and conquering whatever challenges life brought her way. I have tried -- with varying degrees of success -- to make use of the things I learned from her

Out of necessity, I have had to move on in some ways. I can not move on in others. I know people who, within three years, have fallen in love, even married again. The thought is vulgar to me. I know I could love again. I think about my friends Cathy and Lew. I see the special life they have built, and I wonder what I could have, if I find the right person.

But finding the right person? Oy! I can love someone new. Just Friends taught me that, and I am in her debt, even as I wrestle with devastation. My heart, never strong, rests uneasy from my failure to lasso the moon for her. I knew it was a long shot. I knew there was no logical reason for her to make such a leap of faith. So, faith notwithstanding, I find it hard to fault her for trusting common sense. Besides, who says that any door remains closed forever?

So... back to this weekend. I was expecting an onslaught of emotion. it never came. Maybe the depression saw me and ran. Maybe it has become so much a part of my life that I no longer notice it.

In any event, It has been an easier weekend than I imagined. I think I know why. If I'm right -- and I am -- I can use this knowledge to form a strategy for the future.

Recently, I've been learning to burn anger for fuel. It's something Roxanne did, perhaps to excess. Certainly she could control the flame better than me. She could tiptoe on the threshold with no danger of exceeding her limits. I doubt if she felt if it was possible for her to overreach. She believed that anything was within her grasp, given proper resources and enough time. I can't say I envy that skill. I appreciate its complexity, but that scheme would never work for me. I can open the burners and scream "damn the torpedoes," with the best of them. But at the zero hour, I would hesitate, just long enough for things to go awry. Yes, I have learned the value of limited fury. Its power is staggering. Once I become its master, look out!

Today's lesson? I must constantly be on the watch. Every day, there comes a selfish moment. Every day, the thought strikes me: I want to die. In the next moment, I'm overcome with shame that such doubts dare enter my mind.

Every day, I want to live, and to dash headlong into life with the strength of a teenager. I'm more confused than ever. I'm more certain than ever. I'm happier than ever. I'm more depressed than ever. I'm more paranoid than ever. I fly from extreme to extreme with abandon. And, even though I've yet to grasp the significance of this, scary as it may be, I'm enjoing the hell out of this ride.

And more than ever. I am convinced that this place, this place I find myself as I commence my fourth year alone, is exactly where I am supposed to be. That's what faith tells me. And I've long known that if LIFE 4.0 is to be something more than a countdown to death, that faith is what will make it happen.

Dear Roxanne,

Do the days pass as slowly for you as they do for me?

I often wonder how you spend your time. I do know you enjoy every day. You lived that idea to the fullest, and taught me to do it, too. And I try. It's just that without you there, the days just aren't fun. They're nice enough. I find pleasure and beauty, but pleasure and beauty are meant to be shared.

I hope you are as content as you can be, with just enough longing to make you anxious to see me again.Even here, I see you everywhere, in my surroundings, and in my thoughts. You are there in all the things we shared, the idle happenings which come too often and too precisely to be coincidence.

I sometimes dream of you, and honey, the wonderful thing is that now, when I do, it no longer hurts. I am able to be happy that in some reality, we were able to spend a few moments with each other. It makes me eager to see you, and have you show me all about the world that awaits us. Faith tells me that it will be even more wonderful that the one we shared here.

Beautiful things await us. Until then, pila moya, I shall be with you the only way I can, in my thoughts and in the daily events which remind me of you. And until then, I shall pray for faith, the faith which conquers all.


1 comment:

  1. Was your friend Linda Goebel the same Linda Goebel who performed a one-woman show about her life and had traveled to Poland with a Christian organization?

    -Roger Agness